Thursday 27 July 2023

Hens and Flowers

Dahlia season is in full swing and the garden is just popping with these beautiful blooms.

At the end of last season, I dug up all my tubers and stored them over winter, I wasn't sure how they'd hold up so I went a little crazy and bought a few more (when I say few it was a fair few.) just incase they all went rotten.

Thankfully they didn't, I think about two rotted away but the rest stayed in good condition, so I have ended up with 21 Dahlia tubers in total.

One didn't make the bloom.
It just didn't end up doing anything and doesn't look like it rotted so I'm not sure what happened with that one.

The main ones that have opened up so far are ones from last year, the new ones are taking a little bit longer to open, but I can see that there on their way.

Café au lait is definitely one of my all-time favourites. I have some other dinner plate varieties this year, so I cannot wait to see what they look like.

Eveline is one of the new tubers for this year and she is just beautiful!

Copper Boy has come back even stronger this year and I've had loads of flower heads already.

The hens are happy to be back out and about, they are still suffering from feather loss and a meanie in the flock but slowly their feathers are re-growing and with the extra vitamin boosts and high protein treats they are getting I am hoping by the end of the summer their full fluffy bottoms will be back!

Another bloom that is doing better this year is my sweet peas!
Last year I think I got one flower head and just a load of leaves. I sowed a fair few back in the autumn and they have done ok, but the ones that have been really successful are the ones I sowed by seed directly into the ground in the spring! They are beautiful and full of sweet scents, every time I pass under the arch I get a great sniff of perfume.

Even though the girls are busy growing back their feathers, we are still getting around 3-4 eggs a day.
Lovely orange yolks and healthy shells, so I know they are feeding well and are happy.

Last year I fell in love with cosmos so I made sure to overdo it with the seeds this year, and get a few varieties and they haven't disappointed.
I have them planted up by my greenhouse and in one of my main Dahlia beds.

I'll be sharing more of the garden flowers, once they are in full bloom.
I'll also be sharing what's growing in the greenhouse in a week or two.


Sunday 23 July 2023

Meet Luna

 Recently we decided that we wouldn't add any more animals to the house, three cats, six chickens, one dog, and a fish seemed like plenty.

That was until Noah went off to work experience with Jon, and one of the houses they visited last week (Jon audits other gas engineers' work) had six kittens and didn't want any of them. 

Noah got straight onto the phone to me and asked if he could have one as we didn't have one in this colour so made sense to say yes.

I left the decision with Jon and when they returned home they'd brought back this little bundle of fluff, Luna.

She's only 5 weeks old, so not really meant to be away from her mother, but apparently, the mum cat wasn't feeding them anymore and the human mum didn't want to deal with them either.

Jon and Noah picked up some kitten food on his way home to try her on.
She wasn't so keen on the wet food he bought, but luckily he had to take Odin to the vet so was able to speak to them about her.
They gave him some special kitten formula and some syringes to feed it with. 

As soon as he was home, I knocked it up and she took to it straight away.
I'm now feeding her every 4 to 5 hours.
She is also taking dry kitten food.

I can already feel her putting weight on and she's much more active now.

All the kids adore her, Ray isn't bothered by her, and the other three cats are keeping their distance but popping their heads around the door every now and then.
Hopefully, they'll warm to her soon.

We may have said no originally having no more pets but Luna definitely feels like she was meant to be a part of our family.

I make sure to share lots of updates on little Luna in the coming weeks.

Wednesday 19 July 2023

5 Unique Hobbies for Children

Looking for some new and exciting hobbies for your child to try out? 

Here are 5 that we suggest.

1. Volunteering

It might not be the first hobby that springs to mind for you, but it does give your child a huge boost in their development of all kinds of skills. A lot of volunteering opportunities will come up for children through many different channels. In fact, a lot of schools offer this, just like at this Sixth Form in Gloucestershire. If your child loves the feeling they get from helping other people, this might be the route for them.

2. Board games

A lot of board games are fun and a learning curve for children. Explore a range of them with your child to see which ones are the most interesting to them. It could be chess, Monopoly, or Jenga, to name but a few. A lot of these games are great for helping children solve problems and act quickly to make key decisions.

3. Birdwatching

Often seen as something the older generation might do, children can also see a lot of the benefits to this as well. Identifying different birds and species can bring a lot more confidence in a child’s understanding of the world, as well as key ways to identify new birds.

4. Gardening

Not only does this test a child’s fine motor skills, but it’s incredibly rewarding to see the results of plants growing. Start in the springtime with a few seeds to lay out and watch them grow well into the summer months. Your child will soon be jumping for joy as they see the progress.

5. Arts and Crafts

Making fun creations with your child will help them discover their creative side. It should feel like an exciting activity for your child to get involved in, which will allow them to discover themselves. Art is a great outlet for many children who will explore other areas of this vast subject.


So when it comes to hobbies and new interests there really is something for everyone.

Many of them will naturally appear to your child, but there’s always something your child can learn from finding lots of new interests.

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Monday 17 July 2023

Teaching Your Child to Use Social Media Responsibly

The internet is a vast place and will have a wealth of opportunities waiting for your child from the click of a button. But there are of course drawbacks to using these features in the wrong ways. Social media also plays into this, with a whole world to explore out there among friends and even strangers.


Your child should be careful online regardless. Privacy can be easily compromised and thieves can find information quickly if not protected; cyberbullying can always occur, or your child is the bully themselves; inappropriate content can be found. 


Many other problems can unravel if they’re not controlled, and your child will become aware of them through school and in real-life situations. This private school in Clapham has some key advice to help your child use social media responsibly and with care for those around them.

Ask your child what sites they are using

If your child has a particular pattern of behaviour it will normally come from the social media sites they already access. While some of the platforms can be used on a PC, your child will also be following them through other means, especially if they have a smartphone. The social media accounts vary for different generations so it’s worth keeping on top of what your child actively uses in comparison to yourself.

Talk about personal information

This is important because your child will have a duty of care to protect their key information. These will be your home address, telephone numbers, emails, and even credit card or similar sensitive pieces of information that can cause harm. This is why talking openly about the purpose of keeping this information protected will ensure they’re safe when using different social platforms.

Reassure your child

You’re not here to berate your child’s choices, even when they make a mistake. Sometimes making a mistake on social media can be the start of that meaningful conversation. It can be a lot for children to handle - it’s important to comfort them and remind them that you will always be there for them.


What’s important is that you view these moments as opportunities for your child to grow and understand your point of view. Social media can be very useful and exciting, as long as they are aware of the risks and use the platforms in positive ways. 

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Wednesday 12 July 2023

How to Raise a Polite Child


Politeness will help your child make a lot of key decisions in their life.

 It’s important to help children with their behaviour so that they can learn what is right from wrong. Helping your child with learning to be kind will ensure they know their place, and how best to engage with others, make friends and many more aspects of life.


Here are some ways you can help your child to be more polite, as well as helping them with their behavioural skills.

Help your child understand what bad behaviour causes

Curbing out bad behaviour when it happens is a good approach when it comes to your child’s social development, but it’s also a good idea to talk about the repercussions of poor behaviour. Acting out, becoming angry, shouting, or being rude to somebody can cause upset, rule-breaking and further disruption. In many cases you will find that behaving badly causes more issues than before, so show your child what that can do to them.

Talk to your child’s school

A school will be able to share with you what they do when a child is being disrespectful or unkind in the classroom or out on the playground. This is where you can use what they have recommended to you back at home so that the rules are continually reinforced. Another outlet that many schools offer, like at this nursery in Surrey, is pastoral care. This is where a child’s needs are addressed on a more emotional level to figure out the best ways to support their individual growth.

Role model kindness at home

Being your child’s biggest role model will also be key to their growing success. Have a good talk with your child about how you view kindness and what they can learn from you. It’s something that your child will learn to develop during nursery school and in big school as well, so ensure they know where they get it from. At the same time, you should also show how happy you are with their progress - praise them when they are being kind to others in public.


Kindness should always shine through when your child is learning new skills. Help them pick up the many ways to be kind and respectful, and they will soon become valued members of society.

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Tuesday 11 July 2023

Top Tips for Teaching Your Child to Read


Reading is a fun activity, but it’s also an educational one that your child should feel encouraged with when they get older. 

Having the skills in place to pick up new areas of writing, and develop their confidence and their intelligence will all come a part of learning to read. Helping your child to pick up a book each week will give them a wealth of benefits.


Here are some top tips to help your child learn to read and to do it on a regular basis.

Start out small

Heading to a much more complex story only worries children.

 Ideally, they should be starting from the first reading books they will use to develop their vocabulary and spelling. As they get used to different words and phrases you can slowly advance their reading material. Ensure the stories they read are fun and exciting for children, as they should be finding ways to naturally pick up a book for themselves.

Explore different genres

A lot of children are pigeonholed into reading the same sorts of stories when there are so many genres out there waiting to be explored. The better your child’s sense of different interests, the more they will be willing to try out new stories and learn to enjoy them. Your child might really enjoy superhero stories, in which case a comic book might be better suited to them.

Work on their vocabulary

Vocab development will be important at many different stages in a child’s school life, especially when they’re in their first years of school. Make time to work on this particular area of their studies by playing word games, using sing-along songs, or even using fridge magnets to spell out words.


It’s actually very important to see your child do well in their reading as they will need to use it for the rest of their lives. Should you be struggling to find the best approach to support your child, we recommend talking to this prep school in Oxfordshire for further advice.

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Monday 10 July 2023

A weekend of falling in love with the Peak District

The other weekend we went off to the Peak District for a family celebration. 
Jon's parents rented a house in Litton and invited friends and family to join them in celebrating 50 years of marriage.

Whilst we were there we decided to spend the day times exploring the surrounding areas.

On the Saturday we headed into Castleton to visit Peak Caverns.

We were all blown away with how pretty the landscape was and how gorgeous the villages were.
We literally walked around gobsmacked.

Castleton was gorgeous and we had a lovely cup of tea and some cakes in Dolly's Tea House. The weather was lovely so we all sat outside to make sure we soaked up as much of the gorgeous setting as possible.
By the time we had all finished it was time to head to the cavern for the next tour.

The Cavern holds hourly guided tours, there are many caverns in the Peak District but this was one of a few that Bea could go into as a few are for children 4+.

All the boys loved exploring the cavern, Oscar got to make a rope washing line, the same way the rope makers used to do back in the day.
They were very amused by the name of the cavern which was the 'Devil's Arse'.
Ru even got a hat with the name on and all throughout the tour they were giggling away, even when they got to the Devil's Arse which apparently does have a farting season, which much to the boy's disappointment had finished 9 weeks ago.

Bea loved going deeper into the cave and even Noah was taking lots of his own pictures to show off to his mates.
When a teenager is having a good time, you've defiantly picked a great day out.

On the way back to the house we drove through Winnats Pass, it was stunning!
To be honest you could drive around the Peak District and be stunned by everything.
We had planned to head into Bakewell to pick up some Bakewell tarts but the roads were all closed off due to the village carnival.

Back at the house, everyone got ready for the evening meal which was being cooked by a chef.
The kids were all very excited for a fancy meal.

The dinner was lovely and it was great to hear some lovely speeches.

On the Sunday, before we headed back to Norfolk we made a pitstop at Bakewell, as we needed those Bakewell tarts to make the trip complete.

Another gorgeous village to wander around and some very lovely shops.
The boys loved the old-fashioned sweet shops and Bea loved the toy shop, Ru was able to get some Prime in one of the corner shops and we managed to buy some tarts for the journey home.

We had such an amazing time and we shall be returning back to the Peak District to do even more exploring in the not too distant future.